Wednesday, December 2, is Middle Hawthorne's 22nd birthday. And he was born on a Wednesday. Mr. Hawthorne and I have made plans to go visit him in GBO and take him out for a Birthday Lunch and lavish him with presents. Sometimes, life ... or death ... gets in the way of our plans.
Monday, November 30, 2009
One of my favorite dishes I make every Thanksgiving is Julia Child's Gateau of Crepes. It's a wonderful construction of layered broccoli, carrots, and mushroom duxelles, bound by a cheese custard, and each layer separated by crepes and the whole enclosed in crepes. If you recall, I made my crepes on Monday. This is not a dish to create in one day. I did the crepes Monday, the veggies on Wednesday afternoon, then made the custard, assembled the whole, and baked on Thursday First, prep the veggies.
sliced and peeled.
Cook until just tender - about 3 - 3 1/2 minutes, then drain and immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking and set the color.
... and have someone else run them through a mandoline to make matchsticks. I have done this by hand before and do not recommend it. It takes forever.
Heat butter in your skillet, and add carrots. Salt and pepper to taste and I add about a teaspoon of sugar. These needed another pat of butter, which I added. Cook and toss carrots until just tender but not browned.
I sprinkled a handful of chopped fresh dill over the carrots and tossed. Cover and refrigerate. Next, the mushroom duxelles.
Saute until mushrooms start to separate - about 4-5 minutes. After cooking, season with salt and pepper. Cool, cover, and refrigerate.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving morning. Thanksgiving morning, I prepared my custard mixture. Custard ingredients: 2 packages cream cheese, softened 6 large eggs 1 cup milk or heavy cream (I used heavy cream.) freshly ground salt and pepper freshly grated nutmeg The Swiss cheese is to be grated and used for the broccoli and carrot layers.
For the custard, I beat the softened, room temperature cream cheese, then added in my eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Gather all the ingredients - crepes, mushroom duxelles, carrots, broccoli, and custard. And grated Swiss. (oops) And begin assembly.
First butter the inside of a 2 1/2 liter baking dish and line the bottom with buttered parchment paper. Fit one crepe, good side down, in the bottom of the dish, and space 4 around the sides, with the good sides against the dish.
Top carrots with 1/3 of the remaining cheese and pour 1/3 of the custard, enough to come up to the level of the carrots.
Place another crepe on top of the carrot layer and spread out the mushroom duxelles, and ladle in the custard.
Cover with a sheet of foil. Bake immediately, otherwise, the custard will leak out against the sides and bottom, sticking the crepes to it and making a mess when you go to unmold. Bake on the lower middle rack in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour with a pan underneath to catch any dribbles. In 1 hour, when the gateau has started to rise, turn the oven up to 400 degrees, and bake for about another 45 minutes. It will eventually rise an inch or so and is done when a meat thermometer inserted at the center reads 160 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes, allowing the custard to set and settle.
The flecks of broccoli and carrots remind me of little gems studding the custard. This is wonderful hot, warm, or cold. And when you serve this, a lot of people won't know what the mushrooms are. They think it's some kind of pate. I love the combination of flavors here. Bottom line, this is an excellent dish. Labor intensive, but worth every second. Hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Posted by Rosie Hawthorne at 12:04 PM
Sunday, November 29, 2009
The Hawthorne Boys came in the house the other afternoon and requested I come out on the deck and take in the sunset. They liked the clouds and wanted to give me the heads up to come shoot pictures.
Posted by Rosie Hawthorne at 5:22 PM